Switzerland Remains Most Attractive for Top Talents

On the IMD World Talent Ranking 2017 Switzerland keeps its pole position. The alpine state is followed by Denmark (2nd) and Belgium (3rd). The ranking issued by the Institute of Management Development (IMD) compares a country’s ability to attract and retain top talents.

female apprentice
Switzerland’s good marks are mainly due to its unique apprenticeship programs.

Since 2014 the Institute of Management Development (IMD) assesses 63 countries according to their ability to provide economic framework in order to retain domestic and attract international highly-skilled workforce. The study is based on the three components “Investment and Development”, “Appeal” and “Readiness”. Investment and Development examines a country’s investment in and development of home-grown talent. Appeal relates to the ability to tap into the overseas talent pool and Readiness measures the availability of skills and competencies in the talent pool. This year’s top ten list comprises of only European countries, however, Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore come in very close.

Top marks in all categories

Switzerland’s good marks for Investment and Development are mainly due to its unique apprenticeship programs (see our Factsheet on the dual education system in Switzerland), the high priority of employee trainings and the excellent quality of health infrastructure.

The small country achieves the top spot in Appeal thanks to its high quality of life, recognized not only by the respondents of this study, but also by many other global rankings. Cost of living might be high, but remuneration for highly-skilled workforce enables Switzerland to remain attractive.

In Readiness, Switzerland demonstrates an outstanding performance. Its education system, university education and management education are incomparable and also the language skills are worth mentioning.

Top-notch education system

In order to maintain a rich pool of highly-skilled staff, Switzerland strives for excellency in training and education. With the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) it runs a renowned university that continuously figures among the top ten in global university rankings. There are other universities, such as the Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) or the University of Basel, that regularly earn international recognition for their performance and competence. One of the advantages of Swiss education lies in its dual education system. Besides the academic education, the distinguished apprenticeship program represents a strong pillar in the setup. Several hundred different professions can be learned through apprenticeships. The professional trainings last from three to four years and offer a combination of theory in school and direct practice on the job itself. Therefore, academic learning is complemented by practical skills which leads to well-educated work force from the early beginning of professional life.

To find out more about living and education in Switzerland consult our Handbook for Investors.


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